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Growing older and my most embarrassing moment.

It is raining today. What a blessing. We are still in the drought and have not had any rain for several weeks and just had two weeks of high temperatures. Rain seems so foreign, but soooo welcome. A perfect day to just lie in the hammock all day, but of course, not enough time to do that anyway.

Besides, honestly, I am not a hammock person…I get dizzy if I am in anything that moves: swinging or around. I get so sick I cannot even walk.

We are having a garage sale this weekend. Hummm. I think I remember that last time I had a garage sale saying I would never do it again. But, Maria and Travis had some stuff to sell and suggested we do it together so I have been gathering stuff. It is simply amazing how you can accumulate so much unnecessary stuff.

And then I get to thinking…why did I buy that in the first place? What possessed me at the moment that I thought I had to have that certain item? I guess we all just like to buy stuff. That is one of the reasons I record all the shows we watch, so we can fast forward through the commercials and not be tempted. That is also why, when I bring in the mail, that I stand by the trash can and throw away any circulars, etc. so that again, I am not tempted to look through them and want to buy something.

I have cut back my schedule where I am working less days, which is really nice. Before; the computer class I taught…I went Monday through Thursday for just an hour each day. I asked them if they could change it to two days a week for two hours each day. They did, which means I am making the same, but I only go two day a week. Yea!

It also works out better for the class. It would seem as though I would just be explaining something or we would just be into a project and then I would have to go. It is much better now that the classes are longer.

I have been working really hard on the gardens in the front of the house. I really neglected them during the 100 degree temperatures this summer.

They were looking horrible, but I now have them 2/3’s weeded. This next week, I hope to start moving plants around. We are going to eliminate one of the large gardens in the front.

For years, I have had large gardens and have taken flower arrangements to church each Sunday. However, in a moment of self-reflection (and trying to figure out how I can finish a book that I am trying to write). I realized that it had become more of a duty than a pleasure.

I spoke with Fito and neither of us wants to keep spending the amount of time that is needed to keep on so many gardens. Time to downsize.

I see this in many older people. They simply cannot maintain the same home, yard, garden, and so on as they have done for many years. If they have the resources available and chose to do so, it is fine if they stay in their home. However, if they do not have the money, I do not think it is right of them to expect their children, friends, or church friends to do all of their maintenance.

An occasional hand up or help out is okay, but they should not expect others to do everything for them. Unless of course, there is a win-win situation. What is a win-win?

That is when each one “scratches each other’s back”. Maybe you cut their grass each week- but they babysit for you when there is an emergency. It is finding a way to say thank you, but in a tangible way. Each working to bless the lives of each other.

After my father died, we did many things for my mother (and her for us) which worked fine. But there reaches a point when health declines to a point that a loved one cannot, nor should not be alone, nor driving, nor doing other things alone. And to ask a child or a friend to keep maintaining your home and yard, while maintaining their own home is just a little too much.

Circumstances occurred that we moved and then my mom ended up with us (I went and rescued her from a nursing home…yucky place to be…I tell everyone to NOT put a loved one in one until you have spent at least 72 hours [without leaving] in one to make sure it is the right place)…and I will add that sometimes it is the right thing to do.

Sharing a home has truly been a win-win for us as well as for my mom. But I am preparing now to be ready for my time of old age. Each year, I need to down size a little more and try to eliminate chores, clutter, and un-done paper work so my children don’t get stuck with messes to clean up or worry about.

I have had a horrible persistent cough. I really wouldn’t be surprised if I found out I had walking pneumonia. I have been on two different antibiotics. I think it is going away after four to five good hours and then it returns with a vengeance. It seems to be lurking in my lungs…ready to sneak out and embarrass me by making me cough while teaching, giving a presentation, etc.

Speaking of embarrassing. Perhaps the most humiliating moment in my life happened over 29 years ago when I was similarly sick.

I was a missionary at the time and had the same horrible, suffocating, wrenching cough. I was in the car with my companion in the front passenger seat and two elders (male missionaries) riding in the back.

I do not remember where we were going or if we were coming from a meeting or what. I only remember that I had run out of tissues and needed to spit. (Yes, this is really gross and I cannot believe I am sharing this).

I kept coughing up phlegm and swallowing it because, first of all, a lady does not spit, and second, there was no place to put it. Then I started having almost a seizure, the coughing was so bad. I then did the only thing I could-- and spit out the window.

But the worst is yet to come. The phlegm went out the window and flew right back in and landed on the Elder sitting behind me. He yelled. I frantically left the highway. We finally found a place to stop that had paper towels and got him cleaned up.

Actually, he was pretty gracious about it and the Elders teased me incessantly about it. I apologized probably 100 times. I am still alive, but I still cringe every time I think about that horrible moment.




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